When desiring to live as a true disciple of Jesus, one must first look unto Christ’s active obedience as He walked this earth. His active obedience was demonstrated in the sinless life He lived, and also serves believers as the perfect representation of how to live in the world and yet still remain undefined by its principalities. The actively obedient lifestyle Jesus exhibited was led by the Spirit, administered by the Father, and served to point the lost souls to the infinitely glorious God of everything. This obedience was cloaked in humility in order that Christ’s supremacy would be revealed through His death on the cross for the atonement of sins. One must seek to understand the hidden supremacy of the triumphant Son, and then practically apply that in every aspect of their life as a true disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The hidden supremacy demonstrated by Jesus was present because of His divine, Spirit lead humility. In essence, Jesus’ hidden supremacy is His humble-hearted kingship. Humility cloaked the Son’s obedience, and furthermore, ushered the way to His exaltation at the cross where He vanquished the dominion of sin and darkness for eternity. Establishing a new Kingdom, the Savior ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father as the Servant King. Paul, possessing the same Spirit of Jesus, writes about the humility of this Servant King in His letter to the church in Philippi.
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”Philippians 2:5-11 ESV
Jesus’ humble obedience leads into His divine exaltation where He is seated with the Father, claiming the Name above every name. This particular passage reveals the hidden supremacy of God’s Son whom He sent into the world. Being fully God, yet fully man, He went to the cross and died the horrific death that was meant for the sinners, the enemies, the children of wrath. Having nails driven through his hands and feet, He humbly took the weight of all the world’s sin, and the Father “made him to be sin who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV). Succeeding this humble obedience, Jesus was elevated to a point of supreme superiority in order that the entire world would turn their focus to the true King. The King who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28 ESV).
Jesus lived a life of Spirit lead humility, and as His ambassadors, we are called to live like Him. For “whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.” (1 John 2:6 ESV). So, we are called to this same Spirit driven humility that is revealed through Jesus’ hidden supremacy. In fact, Jesus proclaims the necessity of the servant hearted mindset several times (Matthew 18:4; Matthew 20:26 – 28; Matthew 23:11 – 12; Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14; Luke 18:17; . . .).
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”Philippians 2:1-4 ESV
After breaking down Paul’s examination of Christ’s humility, we can then look into the verses prior, and apply His Spirit lead humility in our own lives as disciples of Jesus. Believers are to have the same love through Spirit lead humility. Believers are to be unified through Spirit lead humility. Believers are to avoid selfishness through Spirit lead humility. Believers are to show the fruits of the Spirit through Spirit lead humility. Essentially, whatever a true follower of Christ does should be completely driven by humility. And this humility is imparted by the Spirit, and perfected in Jesus.
A true disciple of Jesus is to “deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24). At the source of denying oneself, humility is found. So, fellow believers, follow Jesus through a life of Spirit lead humility. Deny yourself. Seek to serve just as the Servant King served you through His death on the cross that atoned for your sins. Bear your own cross, and follow the One who saved your soul, and has been seated as the King of kings with the Name above all names.